Nancy Pelosi’s backroom arm-twisting ratchets up on Dems ahead of votes on big spending bills
With votes expected next week on two massive spending bills, Mrs. Pelosi has no room for error in bringing together far-left and moderate Democrats to score a desperately needed win for President Biden.
But Washington politicos and the speaker will tell you: Don’t bet against Nancy Perkinsi .
I don’t consider any uphill battle,” Mrs. Pelosi , California Democrat recently stated to The Washington Times.
She is an expert in negotiating techniques to get defiant members of her caucus in line. She dangles carrots, twists arms and pulls political levers to exert pressure on lawmakers in Washington and in their districts, according to Democratic lawmakers and aides who have experience Mrs. Pelosi‘s strong-arming firsthand.
“She has a database where she‘s got a lot of resources at her fingertips to kind of reach down in members’ districts, and other stakeholders, to persuade people,” said a former Democratic leadership aide.
Up until now, insiders claim that the speaker’s efforts were in the backroom or family conversation-style stages.
To add to the pressure, Mrs. Pelosi called or visited lawmakers’ offices to get reinforcements from organized labor and progressive activists. They want Democrats to support both the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which is favored by moderates, and the $3.5 trillion social security bill, which is prized highly by progressives.
The pressure campaign is rapidly intensifying with Monday’s first vote on the infrastructure bill. Mrs. Pelosi promised to continue the dialogue with a vote on the larger liberal bill next week.
“Pelosi is not going to tell you how she‘s going to retaliate or what’s going to happen. I believe she ‘ is far more subtle. The former staffer stated that it was almost as if you know exactly when it is coming. It could be a committee assignment. It will be a fundraiser. It’s going to be, ‘You’re not going on another international CODEL.'”
And going against the wishes of the Speaker is a risky move, they claim.
” One thing I learned about her is that if you tell her that you are going to do something tell her .. Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas Democrat): “If you aren’t sure, don’t say that you’re going do something and then not do it.” “That’s the one advice I give members because I’ve seen that a couple of times.”
Lawmakers are keenly aware of Mrs. Pelosi‘s power and reach. as speaker, can take things away her member if she believes they are not in line. her is the best place to discuss district issues. The leadership does not like surprises in the chamber or on social media.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (Virginia Democrat) said that new members quickly learn to sacrifice their own interests in order to support Mrs. Pelosi .
“She can get people to give up their parochial personal set of interests and see a greater good, and she also has the ability to drop a hammer. I sometimes finds it difficult,” he stated. “When I was a freshman I got a lot grief because I broke ranks over a few things, it was tough
The intraparty pressure campaign was seen in a letter from John Podesta to Democratic lawmakers. He urged them to cut the $3.5 trillion package which has a decreasing chance of passing the Senate’s current form.
Democratic Party insiders claimed that the letter, leaked to The New York Times, was not Mrs. Pelosi .
Mr. Podesta stated that the Senate is unlikely to pass the $3.5 trillion plan that Mr. Biden has outlined. If they fail to agree on a smaller spending bill, Democrats will lose both of their 2022 chambers.
He also admonished moderates for pushing back on the $3.5 trillion package that is the most ambitious expansion of the welfare state since the Great Society of the 1960s.
“You are either getting both bills or neither — and the prospect of neither is unconscionable,” Mr. Podesta wrote. It would be a failure of democracy and an abdication of responsibility. It would be the end of our generation’s history. .”
Mrs. Pelosi’s calculations are further complicated by the partisan fight over whether to avoid a shutdown or suspend the federal debt limit in order to avoid default.
Hank Sheinkopf is a veteran Democratic consultant who said that the speaker is having frank and closed-door conversations with her rank-and–file members about the possibility of a government shutdown, default, and Mr. Biden ‘s agenda.
In the conversations, he stated that Mrs. Pelosi would be relaying reality about the fact that the fates of the Democratic majority in Congress , and the fates of the spending bills, are both intrinsically linked.
Passing the spending bills was “a major accomplishment that sets the scene for more Democratic unity going in to the 2022 electoral cycle,” Mr. Sheinkopf stated.